Work injuries happen every day, and this leads to workers’ compensation claims being filed, higher premiums for businesses and lost revenue. Being hurt on-the-job can be prevented, or at the very least, the risk of injury can be lowered.
Knowing the most common work injuries and how to avoid them is a great approach to lowering workplace injuries.
1. Slips and Falls
Slip and falls are the most commonly reported injury in the workplace. Estimates suggest that 33% of all personal injuries in the workplace are related to a slip, trip or fall. This is the top cause for workers’ compensation claims.
And these accidents lead to:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Pulled muscles
- Broken bones
Wet flooring or hazardous areas should be marked as such, and repairs must be made to fix uneven walkways as well as potential hazards. Clutter and obstruction should be able to be reported by workers and addressed promptly.
“Workplace slips, trips, and falls account for 17% of all disabling occupational injuries and 15% of all accidental deaths in the workplace,” writes Strom & Associates.
Guardrails and rails around holes in the floor can help, too.
2. Machinery-related Injuries
Machinery-related injuries are very common, and this is often due to human error. Failure to train employees on proper operation of the machinery is a leading cause of injuries occurring. Employees not paying attention in the workplace is also a major concern.
Machines should have protective guards.
Injuries can be something as simple as a broken bone, or the injury can include a limb being caught in machinery and crushed.
Machinery that leads to injuries most often includes:
- Boring machines
- Cutting machines
- Shaping machines
Parts of machinery that can cause injuries should be covered and safeguarded. Training employees on proper operation of the machinery will also reduce the risk of injury. When all of these measures are taken, the risks of machinery-related injuries are less.
3. Lifting Injuries
Lifting injuries are very common, and even lifting a light box can lead to an injury. The risks involved are present in most workplaces, and the best way to eliminate lifting injuries is through proper protocols being put in place.
Protocols can protect workers and set a standard for lifting objects.
Teaching employees proper lifting techniques, such as bending from the knees rather than the hips, can reduce injury risks. And if the weight of an object is over a certain threshold, such as 50 pounds, a protocol may be in place that requires more than one person to help with the lift.
Equipment, such as a forklift, may also be used in some scenarios to help lower the risk of an employee becoming injured.
Improper lifting is a common cause of back pain and injuries.
Workplaces are ripe with injuries, and even something as common as a repetitive movement injury can lead to a workers’ compensation claim. These injuries often occur in the wrist and result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Repetitive movements can include sweeping the floor or even remaining in a fixed position when typing on the computer, performing the same motion over and over again.